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Sad-looking Shorebirds On Oregon Beaches Should Be Left Alone

Rachael McDonald

People walking Oregon's beaches this fall may come across juvenile shorebirds that seem to be distressed or ill. Wildlife experts say it's best to leave them be.

The Common Murre is a small shorebird with black and white feathers, kind of like a mini- penguin. This time of year, the young ones have just fledged and are learning to feed themselves.
Laura Todd is with US Fish and Wildlife's Newport field office. She says some of them don't survive. If you come across a bird that's not moving and seems weak and unwell…

Todd: "Probably the best thing is actually to leave them be. I mean just unfortunately, not all birds make it and these are sort of the first year birds. The best thing to do is let them succumb to nature."

Todd says there have been incidents of avian pox among Murres. She says it's best not to touch wild animals on beaches and to keep dogs away from them as well. If you have questions about stranded wildlife, you can contact the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.
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